Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen has thanked those who refrained from gathering together to commemorate Anzac Day today. (AAP: Scott Barbour)
Victoria has confirmed three more coronavirus cases, including one linked to a private psychiatric clinic which has been at the centre of a recent outbreak.
- The coronavirus cluster at the Albert Road Clinic has now reached 15 cases after another inpatient tested positive
- Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Annaliese van Diemen, said any outbreak was “a worry” for health authorities
- Across Victoria, there are 11 COVID-19 patients in intensive care
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Annaliese van Diemen, said the case linked to the Albert Road Clinic in inner-city Melbourne was a patient.
“That patient is an inpatient at the psychiatric facility so doesn’t require hospitalisation for their COVID infection,” Dr van Diemen said during a press conference.
The patient is the sixth at the clinic to test positive to coronavirus since the first case was confirmed in late March.
Five staff and four household close contacts have also tested positive, bringing the total linked to the cluster to 15.
At least 15 coronavirus cases have been linked to an outbreak at the Albert Road Clinic. (ABC News: Gemma Hall)
Dr van Diemen said patients who had been discharged from the clinic since yesterday were being advised to home quarantine for 14 days.
“They should have been advised that on discharge and they will be contacted on a daily basis by the department,” she said.
“We’re making risk assessments across all of the patients and the staff in the facility and all of them will be contacted.”
Vic COVID-19 snapshot
- Confirmed cases so far: 1,346
- Deaths: 16
- Suspected community transmissions: 135
- Cases in hospital: 24
- Intensive care patients: 11
- Recovered patients: 1,262
- Tests carried out: More than 98,000
Updated Saturday, April 25
Latest information from the Victorian Government
Dr van Diemen said she was concerned about the cluster.
“Outbreaks are always a worry,” she said.
“This is an infectious respiratory disease and that’s why we are taking no chances with it and that’s why we are undertaking an extremely thorough process.”
There were no new deaths recorded in Victoria overnight, with the coronavirus death toll in the state remaining at 16.
The three extra cases bring the total in Victoria to 1,346 with 11 still in intensive care.
“Pleasingly our trajectory remains downwards and our numbers are staying low,” Dr van Diemen said.
Warning to remain vigilant
There were a small number of wreaths at Point Danger, in Torquay, despite a roadblock and signs saying the area was closed. (ABC News: Steven Schubert)
While most people stayed at home to commemorate Anzac Day, there have been reports of people visiting cenotaphs and shrines to pay their respects.
“As difficult as it is, we wouldn’t recommend people travelling to shrines of remembrance anywhere in order to acknowledge Anzac Day,” Dr van Diemen said.
“We would recommend people stay at home and do that in an alternative fashion.
“I’d like to thank everybody who has changed their plans from what they might normally be on a day like today and still gone about acknowledging the contributions that our armed services have made to our country.”
She said the Defence Force was playing a critical role in the state’s response to COVID-19.
“We have a large number [of Defence Force personnel] here in the department, but also across the country, who are doing a huge amount towards our response to coronavirus,” she said.
There have also been reports of public areas, such as Melbourne running track The Tan, and some surf beaches becoming crowded with people exercising.
Dr van Diemen said closing public areas was a matter for the councils who managed them but encouraged people to make responsible decisions.
“If you are out and exercising, please maintain that physical distance of one person per four square metres,” she said. “Don’t exercise in close contact with other people.
“If you go somewhere to exercise and there’s a large number of people, perhaps rethink that and do your exercise somewhere where there are less groupings of people.”
She said while numbers in the state were good, coronavirus outbreaks could get out of control “very, very quickly” and said authorities were concerned that people might be becoming complacent.
“I would reiterate to people that this is not over,” she said.
“We are in a very enviable position, we are the envy of the rest of the world in fact. And we have seen what happens when this gets out of control.
“The advice stays the same. Please stay at home unless you absolutely have to.”
More fines issued
Victoria Police issued 55 fines for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions in the 24 hours to 11:00pm Friday, including to five friends having a party in Melbourne’s north-west.
A police spokesperson said fines were also issued to several other groups gathering in private homes and multiple people who were committing crimes including assault, weapons and drug-related offences.
Police conducted 879 spot checks at homes businesses and non-essential services.
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